|The monsoon madness held over the weekend on the 12th and 13th of March was a massive success. We had over 40 competitors from around Australia attend the event and enjoy some of the best rain we have had all season. Competitors from as far afield as Western Australia and Tasmania attended this event and were rewarded with pumping rain, and more rivers running then they you could throw a stick at.|
Saturday saw the AJ Hackett Big Gorge shoot out being run down Crystal Cascades at a perfect level. After all competitors completed a time trial to see who was who, it was game on with the head to head rounds. Some spectacular carnage was observed by all, with the starting rapid "Inverter" living up to its name, with very few of the competitors making it down upright, and in still facing forward. At one stage local boaters Struan Lamont and Chris Dixon squeezed down the narrow rapid upside down next to each other, making a great spectacle for all the onlookers. Other highlights included Kristian Weldon having a swim in the 3rd rapid above the finish line while he was in the lead, and instead of self rescuing, decided to finish the race with or without a boat, swimming across the finish line still in first place.
The day progressed quickly as the crowds poured in to watch. Their where many upsets with local boaters Josh Bond and Callum Lawson making it through to the quarter finals before being knocked out, making it an all Sydney/Tasmania show down for the top 4 placing, and then the rain came bucketing down.
As the rain poured down, the crowded riverbank thinned quickly as spectators run for cover and the river roes quickly. The final 4 then fought it out to see who would take the title of the First Australian National Champion for steep creeking boatercross.
After some close runs the final results where:
1st Phil Gibbins - Sydney
2nd Adrian Kiernan - Hobart
3rd Ben Hankinson - Sydney
4th Jono Davis - Sydney
After the racing was over we headed up to AJ Hackett Cairns for a wicked after party. To kick it off we did a bungy off the roof of the bungy tower in a kayak just as the last bit of light faded away. The boys then got in their playboats and started to throw down some of their best flat water moves in the AJ Hackett lagoon. Some amazing skills and balance was show cased by all who participated. The eventual winner was Adrian Kiernan, showing the rest of the junior competitors how it is done, even though they where nipping at his heals the whole time. This was followed by 11 bootie beers that had been acquired during the week leading up to the event, and 3 from race day. Dj LUDA, CHOKO and Special guest then cranked up some sick beats and got the party pumping until late in the night making it one to remember.
Sunday saw the Australian National Freestyle titles moved up to the upper Barron River at tinaroo. This was an amazing set up for the Australian titles. Competitors had three consecutive waves to choose from and had the option of starting on the top wave and surfing all three within their allocated 45 seconds. The Grandstand was set up on the rocks no more than 15meters away from all the action, and the sun was shining through.
The Juniors kicked of the day and threw the biggest moves of the entire competition. Joe Dun started to turn up the heat by throwing a helix on his first ride, along with a number of blunts and donkey flips, leaving him with a massive scoring ride. Morgs hit back with a perfectly executed pistol flip, and numerous other blunts and donkey flips, leaving the crowd to go wild. All the juniors then stepped it up with blunts and donkey flips being thrown like they where nothing. Local Tinaroo club shredder Geordie Kruyssen turned heads in his first ever national's competition taking out third place, narrowly pushing young gun big wave kayaker Jake Perram into fourth place. Second place went to Joe with Morgs taking out 1st place with some amazing playboating.
The open women were up next with local boater Debra Hamilton taking on Sydney extreme boater Roslyn Lawrence. Ros narrowly took out first place over Deb as they both threw down in front of the large crowd.
Open Mens then kicked off, with some great boating, but no one could throw down as hard as the juniors had. Donkey Flips, blunts and back stabs where good point scoring moves as the competitors fought it out. Some impressive moves were thrown keeping the crowd cheering the whole way through. International superstar and Fluid team member Adrian Kiernan gave everyone a lesson on how to surf a wave in a playboat, throwing every move in the book including some amazing air screws, and finishing with a score that was more than double that of second place. The C1 then decided to ambush the open mens K1 heats. Jackson token C1'er Jez Blanchard showed us that you can still throw moves with only one blade while you sit on your knees, and put on an impressive show. Junior Jack Perram showed that he had more skill and also jumped in taking out second place with some impressive blunts and backstabs. Tinaroo paddler Keith Kruyssen also decided to jump in and have a spin in the CI, after not paddling one for 15 years, and what a show he put on, well done Keith, you're now 3rd in Australia.
Final Results for Mens Open K1 Freestyle
1st Adrian Kiernan
2nd Drew Walton
3rd Sam Andrews
4th Jarrad Atkin
5th Josh Singlton
6th Josh Bond
7th Phil Gibbins
8th Linden Brown
9th Jono Davis
10th Struan Lamont
11th Eion Knox
12th Dean Charman / Michael Taylor / Christian Botella
13th Chris Dixon / Christian Marten / Dominic Bannerman
A big thanks must go out to all of our sponsor for the event you provided some amazing prizes and gave us some great support for this event. A special thanks to all the volunteers that helped out throughout the weekend and the Tinaroo Canoe Club, without your help we couldn't have run this event, and finally to everyone who participated, and came up for the event. Next year we have plans to make this bigger and better so stay tuned and make sure you get up here for the 2012 Monsoon Madness White Water Festival.